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Airbnb adds new rules to crack down on summer parties

Some one- and two-night stays will be blocked during Memorial Day and July Fourth

(iStock/Washington Post Illustration)

Airbnb is putting new restrictions on Memorial Day and July Fourth bookings in an effort to prevent parties at rentals.

The company announced Wednesday that guests without a “history of positive reviews” will be banned from making one-night stays for entire-home listings in the United States during the summer holiday weekends. In addition, Airbnb will restrict some two-night bookings around July Fourth for renters who do not have a history of positive reviews, are trying to book properties close to home or are booking last minute.

Under the new rules, guests trying to make reservations near where they live will also have to attest that they understand Airbnb’s ban on parties. “If they break that rule, they may be subject to legal action from the company,” the policy announcement says.

Airbnb is ending its covid refund policy

Airbnb instituted its global party ban in August 2020 over coronavirus concerns. It also banned guests under 25 without positive reviews from booking entire homes and capped occupancy at 16. Before the global policy went into effect, Airbnb banned “party houses” and removed event-based listings in 2020 following a shooting at a Halloween house party near San Francisco that left five people dead. In November 2020, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky pledged the company would manually review all 7 million listings on the platform.

Airbnb put similar rules in place last year around one-night stays and certain two-night stays during July Fourth, Halloween and New Year’s Eve. Adding restrictions for Memorial Day weekend is a new measure, the company said.

“The 4th of July weekend in 2021 was quiet and we saw a substantial decrease in reports of disruptive and unauthorized parties. Overall, over 126,000 guests without histories of positive reviews were impacted by this anti-party system over the 4th of July weekend in 2021,” Airbnb said in its announcement.

Shooting at Pittsburgh Airbnb party leaves 2 dead, 9 injured

Despite its global party ban, the platform has dealt with recent violence at house parties. Last month, a shooting at a party in Pittsburgh left two people dead and several injured. About 200 people had been attending a party at a house that had been rented via Airbnb, officials said.

Following the shooting, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Airbnb planned to file a lawsuit against the person who rented the house, seeking damages for claims of violating its terms of service and booking the property under false pretenses. Airbnb said the renter, whom it did not identity, would be permanently banned from its platform.